Give Christianity pride of place in Religious Education

British values and culture informed by Christianity

 

Give Christianity pride of place in Religious Education

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Give Christianity pride of place in Religious Education

The Department of Education (DoE) has recently come under legal pressure to include ‘non-religious’ worldviews in the new Religious Studies (RS) GCSE.

Ruling against the DoE, High Court judge, Mr. Justice Warby, claimed that the Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan, made "an error of law" when she left "non-religious worldviews" out of the new Religious Studies GCSE.

The Judge asserted that, by not including such views in its Religious Studies curriculum, the Department was failing in its duty to ensure that knowledge was conveyed in a pluralistic manner.

But, by any common sense standard, this dubious ruling makes a mockery of the definition of religion, which is recognised as: "an organised system of beliefs, ceremonies and rules used to worship a god (God) or a group of gods."

Thus, the Judge's call for greater representation of "non-religious worldviews" in Religious Studies classes is, by its very definition, contradictory and wholly unreasonable.

And, in any case, the current situation is already in disarray, with half of the RS GCSE syllabus focused on philosophy and ethics, rather than on the study of the things of God.

In fact, the new syllabus requires an in-depth study of two faiths – choosing from Christianity, Catholic Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism – which comprises half of the GCSE. The remainder of the course, as alluded to, is focused on philosophy and ethics.

As such, calls for greater inclusion of non-religious worldviews will only further marginalise an already marginalised subject.

It is important that the Department of Education does not cave-in to pressure and dilute religious education by putting greater emphasis upon non-religious worldviews. Perhaps, the DoE could recommend that such non-religious worldviews be taught in another setting in school, so that genuine religious studies remain as a robust part of the curriculum.

Thankfully, the Department of Education stated, last week, that it might apply to the Court of Appeal over the High Court Judge's ruling, because it disagreed with “some aspects” of his decision.

Such an appeal could also give the Secretary for Education an opportunity to review the dimunition of Christianity within the new syllabus.

Given the dominance of Christianity in British history, culture and politics, and given the fact that the Church of England is still the official state church, the marginalisation of Christianity, within the RS curriculum, makes no sense at all.

This petition, which will be sent to the Secretary for Education, Nicky Morgan, encourages her to make two concrete actions: 1) Resist the further introduction of non-religious worldviews into Religious Studies courses; and, 2) Give pride of place to Christianity in the Religious Studies curriculum, by making it one of the two required religions which must be studied.

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Resist further non-religious worldviews in RS/Give Christianity pride of place in RS syllabus

Dear Secretary of State for Education, Nicky Morgan MP

I write, in light of recent pressure from the High Court and the British Humanist Association, that the Department of Education has allegedly fallen into legal error by not including more "non-religious worldviews" into the Religious Studies GCSE curriculum, and by claiming that the new Religious Studies syllabus would “fulfil the entirety of the state’s (religious education) duties”.

Reports suggest that the DoE will appeal this strange ruling. Such an appeal could also give you an opportunity to review the dimunition of Christianity within the new syllabus.

I wish to see a return to a robust religious education free from ‘non-religious’ worldviews, whose principal focus lies with the Christian religion.

Given the dominance of Christianity in British history, culture and politics, and given the fact that the Church of England is still the official state church, the marginalisation of Christianity, within the RS curriculum, makes no sense at all. By at least making Christianity one of the two required religions which must be studied in the RS curriculum, the Department of Education would contribute to the informing and defining of "British values" in a way which is consonant with our history and heritage.

Furthermore, it is unreasonable that non-religious worldviews are taught in a religious education class, as this will only lead to a further marginalisation of this country’s religious heritage.

Whilst I appreciate that many persons in Britain do not adhere to any religious worldview, I urge you ensure that religious studies remain focused on religion. Philosophies which explicitly reject all religions, should not be taught in religious education, as they are not religions.

If there is a need for children to learn more about non-religious worldviews, they should be taught in another setting in school, so as not to dilute the content of religious education.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]

Give Christianity pride of place in Religious Education

Sign this petition now!

010,000
  5,950
 
5,950 people have signed. Help us reach 10,000 signatures.